5 November 2020
ExcludedUK acknowledges the generosity extended by the Chancellor today, to all those that have already enjoyed such support since late March 2020, through the extension of the 80% CJRS to end of March 2021 and a comparative adjustment of SEISS.
However, it once again expresses its extreme disappointment at the statement, given the Chancellor's continued refusal to remotely acknowledge the plight of the 3 million UK taxpayers excluded from the government Covid-19 financial schemes.
Should there be no changes in the interim, by March 2021 these exclusions will have applied to 3 million individuals and businesses, for a full year. The impact of these exclusions on those affected can no longer be dismissed by the Government with inherently profound consequences for the 3 million affected, their families and households, and the wider inevitable economic damage caused by the Chancellor’s continued refusal to recognise this deeply detriment to 10% of the UK workforce.
ExcludedUK has been campaigning for months on behalf of the 3 million excluded, despite repeated assertions by the Chancellor and the Treasury to dismiss this figure. This staggering figure has been reinforced by statistics released by the National Audit Office on 23 October, which found that 2.9 million were not eligible for the government Covid-19 financial support schemes. This report also highlighted the fact that many who have lost income have not been able to access support, thus contradicting the Government's repeated statements that everyone has been helped in some way. In a report published by the Resolution Foundation last week, it was recognised that this crisis is far from over, and poorly targeted schemes have resulted in huge disparities. ExcludedUK stresses that these disparities will simply not go away unless addresses urgently, and are only set to intensify.
This is an intolerable situation for those who continue to find themselves ignored, facing significant financial hardship and debt through no fault of their own, while the associated mental health crisis continues to deepen with every day that passes.
ExcludedUK will soon be publishing the detailed results of a survey conducted last month, based on over 3,000 responses. Initial analysis points to a deeply alarming picture of the real impact on the lives and livelihoods of those individuals who have been denied fair and adequate access to the Covid-19 support packages so far during the pandemic. A vast number have seen their total annual income fall to between 50%-100% of their pre-Covid incomes, many risk losing their homes, a staggering number have been unable to access any form of welfare, most have had to rely on savings since March (often set aside for tax, pensions, saving for a home or other major purchase), while a mental health crisis looms large and sadly some have admitted to having suicidal thoughts or self-harmed as a direct consequence of the hardship they have faced for close to 8 months.
The financial hardship endured for close to eight months by is further compounded amidst the ongoing uncertainty that still lies ahead. Despite our repeated calls to meet with the Chancellor and for these voices to be heard by the Treasury, the Chancellor has not afforded us this opportunity. He promised to meet with Mel Stride MP to discuss the “Gaps in Support” but this has not yet happened, nor has he agreed to meet with the Chair and Committee of the “Gaps in Support” APPG (which has amassed the cross-party support of over 270 MPs).
ExcludedUK urges the Chancellor to heed these calls and to meet with those affected, to hear first-hand the impacts these exclusions in the government support schemes have had on the 3 million who face ever increasing hardship.
ExcludedUK is a volunteer-led grassroots non-profit organisation seeking to amplify the voices of the 3 million UK taxpayers excluded through no fault of their own, and is committed to continuing to work towards bringing an end to the unfairness, injustice and discrimination in the Government’s Covid-19 financial support measures.